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Foreclosures slightly higher in July, but data is jumpy

  |   Aug. 15, 2013 at 1:17 AM
IRVINE, Calif., Aug. 15 (UPI) -- Foreclosure activity in the U.S. housing market rose from June to July but remained sharply lower than July 2012, RealtyTrac said Thursday.

There were 130,88 U.S. properties involved in some stage of foreclosure in the month, some of them the subject of a default notice, some scheduled for auction and others repossessed by the lender, RealtyTrac said.

That's a 2 percent rise from June, when foreclosures were at a 78-month low, but it was 32 percent lower than July 2012, data shows.

For July, one in every 1,001 U.S. housing units were involved in some stage of foreclosure, the firm said.

The data remain volatile in some states. In Maryland foreclosure starts rose 275 in July compared to July 2012. In Oregon, the gain was 137 percent. In New Jersey, Connecticut and New York, foreclosure starts rose 89 percent, 37 percent and 27 percent, respectively, compared to July 2012.

Bank repossessions rose in 29 states from June to July, but rose in only 18 states from July 2012.

Again, the figures are volatile with repossessions up 266 percent in Arkansas, 126 percent in Oklahoma and 101 percent in Maryland.

These states were followed by New York (100 percent increase), Connecticut (67 percent), New Jersey (40 percent) and Ohio with a gain of 20 percent.

Some of the disparity can be explained by government responses to the foreclosures that reached crisis levels during the recession. Some of it can be explained by whether or not a state has a lengthy process that requires a judicial review before a foreclosure can be settled.

"While foreclosures are continuing to boil over in a select group of markets where state legislation and court rulings kept a lid on foreclosure activity during the worst of the housing crisis, the foreclosure boil-over markets are becoming fewer and farther between as lenders have caught up with the backlog of delayed foreclosures in some of the states with the more lengthy judicial foreclosure process," said Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac.

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